It appears the woes of the Aayalolo bus service is far from over as the company risks completely shutting its operations.
The company’s new challenges have been attributed to the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country.
Citi News gathers that management of the company has been compelled to reduce the number of buses it operates in the Greater Accra Region from 75 to 10.
The bus currently takes 25 passengers instead of the initial 89 in line with laid down COVID-19 protocols.
When Citi News visited the Kinbu bus terminal in Accra, the station was virtually empty with just a few buses parked there.
Some drivers present at the time said the current situation of the company is dire.
“On all the corridors in Accra, there are only 10 buses. On the Amasaman route we have four buses; Adentan, two buses; Tema, one bus; and Kasoa, three buses,” one driver said.
Another driver said the decision of management is understanding because they have been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The lockdown made it impossible for us to take the full passengers. The COVID-19 has taken a toll on us and our management has no option than to reduce the number of buses to keep the business afloat,” another service said.
Revenue losses compelled reduction of buses
The Greater Accra Passengers Transport Executive (GHAPTE), the firm that manages the Quality Bus Service confirmed the reduction in its fleet to Citi News and attributed the decision to revenue losses.
The Aayalolo bus service has struggled to be profitable since it launched in 2017.
After resuming operations earlier this year, all buses were grounded again due to losses incurred as a result of the enforcement of social distancing rules but President Nana Akufo-Addo directed the Minister for Finance and the Minister of Transport to work together to ensure the urgent resumption of the Aayalolo bus service especially in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.
As part of measures to facilitate the transportation of health workers amidst the partial lockdown of Accra, Kumasi and Kasoa, the government arranged for Aayalolo buses to convey the health workers however the arrangement was cancelled after the partial lockdown was lifted.